3 of 5 As­ses­sors Rule In Favour Of 15 In Ra Sedi­tion Case

The Lautoka High Court Judge Jus­tice Aruna Aluthge will give his ver­dict at 2pm on Septem­ber 22

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - KATHRIN KR­ISHNA Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika

Three of the five as­ses­sors in the Ra Sedi­tion case yes­ter­day found the 15 ac­cused per­sons not guilty of the charges they are fac­ing at the Lautoka High Court.

Jus­tice Aruna Aluthge made his clos­ing re­marks in the morn­ing be­fore the as­ses­sors came up with their opinion in the af­ter­noon.

In his clos­ing re­marks the judge said that the only per­son who had taken the wit­ness box was the first ac­cused Ratu Epeli Ni­u­damu.

He said that Ni­u­damu told the court that he had signed on two sep­a­rate pages.

The judge said that the first ac­cused had agreed to sign­ing with­out any sedi­tious in­ten­tion.

In­stead, Ni­u­damu had told the court that he had signed be­cause the late Tui Nav­i­tilevu, Ratu Bolobolo had asked him to sign and the sig­na­tures were for fight­ing for nat­u­ral re­sources and fish­ing grounds. The judge also told the court that Ni­u­damu had also said that he was shocked to see his sig­na­ture on the Uluda Dec­la­ra­tion, Ra Pe­ti­tion to In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice and Ra Sov­er­eign Chris­tian State doc­u­ment which he had never seen be­fore but was shown to him dur­ing the cau­tion in­ter­view by the of­fi­cers.

The judge also told the court that 14 of the ac­cused had opted for the right to re­main silent.

He said they had agreed to sign­ing the Uluda Dec­la­ra­tion, Ra Pe­ti­tion to In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice and Ra Sov­er­eign Chris­tian State doc­u­ments.

The fif­teen ac­cused are Ratu Epeli Ni­u­damu, Sailasa Wairoaroa Malani, Sereima Adi­dave Rokodi, Nanise Kasami Na­gusuca, Waisea Dual­ima, Isikeli Waisega Kabakoro, Laisi­asa Mo­ce­vakaca, Emosi Toga, Waisake Ra­caca, Sa­muela Li­ga­bal­avu, Mikaele Goner­ara, Josefa Natau, Su­lueti Lotu Waqalala, Ulaiyasi Rabua Tuiv­omo and Apolosi Qalilawa.

The fif­teen are charged with sedi­tion con­trary to sec­tion 67 (1) (a) of the Crimes Act 2009.

The fif­teen ac­cused per­sons in this mat­ter are charged with sedi­tion in re­la­tion to the al­leged Ra sov­er­eign Chris­tian state mat­ter.

All ac­cused per­sons are charged with two counts each of sedi­tion ex­cept Nanise Kasami Na­gusuca and Waisea Dual­ima who are charged with four counts each of sedi­tion. The judge will be giv­ing his judg­ment at 2pm on Septem­ber 22 at the Lautoka High Court.

The fif­teen ac­cused per­sons in this mat­ter are charged with sedi­tion in re­la­tion to the al­leged Ra sov­er­eign Chris­tian state mat­ter.

Photo: Kathrin Kr­ishna

14th ac­cused in Ra Sedi­tion Ulaiyasi Rabua Tuiv­omo (right), with his lawyer Aman Singh out­side Lautoka High Court on Septem­ber 15, 2017.

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